I love Lynn Bauman’s definition of parables as “spiritual hand grenades” that have the ability to obliterate our preconceived notions of life. They move us because, as stories, they bypass our reason and go straight for the heart.
Although parables are traditionally defined as short illustrations, I view many novels as modern-day parables because there is often a twist, a moment of clarity, that makes me stop and reconsider–even if for only a moment–what I thought I believed. They’re the kinds of stories that leave us saying, “I never thought of it that way before.”
We see the world not as it is, but as we are. For that reason, stories are what you make of them. Pi’s journey is one of my favorites for that very reason. What is it that you want to see? It all depends on what you’re willing to accept.
3. The Shack
Sometimes you have to look at something from a different angle in order to really see it—like God as an African-American woman, or pain as a teetering shack that traps us in the past.
I had the opportunity to read an early copy of “Iscariot,” a novel written by my friend and co-author Tosca Lee. While not a parable in the strictest sense, it’s certainly a spiritual hand grenade that will challenge every notion you may have about forgiveness and judging not lest we be judged ourselves.